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The Prefecture Of Flaccus—The Early Years

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Chapter Summary

The very fragmented papyrus, paleographically dated to the third century C.E., reports a meeting in the Serapeum between Dionysios, Flaccus, Isidoros, another of Philo's villains, and a member of the gerousia. The rosy picture of the first years of Flaccus' prefecture painted by Philo at the beginning of his treatise contains some obvious black spots. The tone Philo adopts in his description of Flaccus' handling of the gymnasium upheaval supports also the conclusion that Flaccus was acting against the Alexandrians. It is clear that Philo despised the Alexandrians. In 37 C.E, Flaccus' promise to deliver the Jews' honorary decree to Gaius vanished when his return to Rome was postponed. The riots of 38 C.E. developed against this troubled background. Two factors of Philo's construct are discredited: Flaccus' ability to govern the city successfully and the chicanery by which he avoided delivering the Jewish decree to Gaius.

Keywords: Alexandrian gymnasium; Dionysios; Flaccus' prefecture; Gaius; Isidoros; Jews' honorary decree; Philo's construct



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